Daily Archives: February 8, 2016

Book Blast ~ Good Morning Diego Garcia by Susan Joyce

MBB_GoodMorningDiegoGarcia_Banner copy

Good Morning Diego Garcia
by Susan Joyce


GENRE: travel adventure/memoir



When Susan and Charles receive a letter from Cyprus friends, now in Taiwan, they get a chance to help crew a sailboat from Sri Lanka across the Indian Ocean. They have no clue what to expect. Susan reminds Charles she isn’t a good swimmer. He tells her a life jacket will do the trick, and convinces her it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. A must-do travel adventure. They say goodbye to friends and family in sunny California, fly to New York and on to India, arriving the day the Indian government has issued a state of emergency. And then onto the boat, and into the ocean. In monsoon season. With no charts.

In this true-life travel adventure, Susan keeps a journal and record her bizarre thoughts and telling dreams. A real life thriller, Susan’s monsoon-season journey is about discovery and spiritual realization—one dream at a time.




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Downward, we dove through a dark blanket of clouds. All belted in for a smooth landing.

As we neared the ground, the clouds cleared. We crossed a crowded expressway with bumper to bumper afternoon traffic. I could see passengers sitting in cars waiting to move forward. Touchdown was seconds away.

Without warning, the craft groaned and shuddered. Flaps shifted. Engines roared. In an instant the aircraft pitched sharply and climbed skyward with great speed.

Items tumbled from overhead bins as the plane shook violently in midair.

I gripped Charles’s arm.

The plane made a sharp turn to the left and the ground fell away.

Below us, I saw a huge orange ball of fire erupting on the runway.

“Oh my God,” I said, gripping Charles’s arm tighter.

The fire sent black smoke billowing into the air above a twisted, burning plane.

“No survivors there,” Charles said, craning his neck to see what was happening on the ground.

A few minutes later, the sound system crackled and the captain announced, “As you’re aware folks, we’ve had to abandon our final approach to land on runway 221. We’re lucky to have missed a major disaster. Eastern Air Lines Flight 66, a Boeing 727, was struck by lightning on its final approach to JFK,” his voice cracked, “and has crashed on the runway. Eastern was the plane landing in front of us. If we had arrived a split second before the Eastern plane, ours would have been the plane struck. We’re lucky to have been second on the approach path.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Los Angeles California, Susan Joyce spent most of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona and returned to LA as a young working woman. Inspired as a child by postcards from her globe-trotting great aunt, Susan left the United States at age 20 to see the world.

She planned on being gone for a year, but ended up living her 20s and 30s in Europe and the Middle East. As a Jill of all trades, she worked as a secretary, freelance writer, taught computer classes, wrote songs, and became an accomplished artist while writing her first children’s book, “Peel, the Extraordinary Elephant.”

An award winning author and editor of children’s books, Susan’s first adult book in her memoir series, “The Lullaby Illusion–A Journey of Awakening” is a travelogue of the politics of Europe, the United States, and Israel during a twelve year ‘roller-coaster’ period of her life and an adventure of survival through friends and sheer determination.

The Lullaby Illusion was awarded
* Readers’ Favorite 5-Stars and the 2014 GOLD Medal Winner, Non-Fiction–Travel in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.
* Honorable Mention Prize Winner–2014 Stargazer Literary Prizes

Her second memoir, “Good Morning Diego Garcia” is about her adventure from India and across the Indian Ocean in monsoon season in 1975.
Available for pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Morning-Diego-Garcia-Discovery-ebook/dp/B017S0ZXP6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Read more about Susan’s life adventures at: http://susanjoycejourneys.com/
Stop in and say hello to Susan here: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanJoyce/?fref=ts


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Blog Tour ~ Recognitions by Daniela I. Norris

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About the Book:

Title: Recognitions
Author: Daniela I. Norris
Publisher: Roundfire Books
Pages: 200
Genre: Inspirational/Women’s Fiction

Amelia Rothman, a foreign-rights editor from New York, has a turbulent personal life. She juggles a divorce and two teenage kids, and decides to seek hypnotherapy to help her deal with insomnia and anxieties. But when during the session an unexpected event emerges, she tries to understand how it is relevant to her current life and why it suddenly triggers a series of synchronicities that take her on an unexpected personal journey to the depth of her subconscious.

At once a spiritual and psychological novel, Recognitions explores the concepts of past lives, recognition of people and their roles in our present lives and life lessons. 

Praise for Recognitions:

Think Cloud Atlas, a classic story of rebirth, many lives, and reincarnation on a level that involves protagonists in other lives – but take it a step further in Recognitions, the first novel in a trilogy, which presents a woman under hypnosis who sometimes encounters a French girl on the cusp of marriage and sometimes an African shaman facing a village’s struggles with illness and slavery.

Then take these diverse lives and weave them together in the story of a modern-day woman, Amelia (who must deal with these other lives and her own daily challenges, and who faces her own struggle to understand the connections and messages that lie in her dreams and hypnotic state), and you have an emotionally charged saga filled with three threads that lead back to one tapestry of wonder.

Under a different hand, this saga of birth, death, and afterlife could have easily proved confusing: it’s no simple matter to create three disparate, very different lives, and weave them together with purpose and discovery; no easy venture to bring all these pieces to life and then meld them into one… a story that is quietly compelling: a moving saga highly recommended for any reader interested in predetermination, past lives, and how three disparate worlds weave together.

— Midwest Book Reviews

For More Information


Book Excerpt:

I was still considering cancelling it all as I entered through the building’s gate and stepped towards the door. I took a couple of deep breaths and looked around for clues, to help me decide whether I should go ahead with this craziness or not. I could hear my own heartbeat, which I thought was a bit weird, as I’d never noticed it before. Not like this, thumping in my ears like a distant drumbeat.

There was no name on the door – just a sticker of a dragonfly, and her initials. It looked as if it were the door to a student’s apartment, or to the practice of some dodgy manicurist, certainly not a door to another state of consciousness. When Lauren, my editorial assistant, first suggested hypnotherapy, I laughed. Lauren is the spiritual type, taking three yoga classes a week and constantly talking about meditation, energies and karma.

It isn’t that I don’t believe in these things. In fact, I don’t really know what I believe in, I just know that between my teenage kids and my day job and my attempts at finishing my never-ending novel, I hardly have time to explore all sorts of strange mind-body-spirit connections or whatever they call them these days. But since Don left I pretty much lost it, in more than one way.

I couldn’t focus on the books piling up on my desk, silently filling me with guilt for letting them sit there for so long. I was supposed to be spending my days securing foreign rights for American books, mostly working with French-language publishers. But I couldn’t do my job properly. I suffered from sudden anxieties during the day, and at night I couldn’t sleep. It’s not that he broke my heart or anything, it’s more like he somehow managed to crack the fragile confidence in humanity 1 that I’ve managed to maintain over the twenty years of living in New York City.

But I couldn’t spend the entire day in front of that door with the stupid dragonfly sticker, so I decided to knock. If she turned out to be some kind of witch with missing front teeth and hair coming out of her ears, I could always make a run for it. A woman in her late thirties opened the door, and all her teeth were intact. In fact, she had a pleasant smile. “Come in,” she said as she shook my hand, and then signaled towards a coat hanger by the door. As I took my coat off I felt a knot of anxiety in my throat, but I just swallowed it.

There was no way back now. Taking my coat off made me feel vulnerable, as if a dice had been thrown; a decision had been made, one I couldn’t go back on anymore. I wasn’t used to feeling vulnerable; it was a recent state-of-being that I still didn’t wear well. “So why are you here?” she asked. I was seated in front of her in a black leather armchair, and noticed that both my hands were clenched into tight fists. I had to choose my words carefully because I didn’t want to let the wrong ones out. Even though I didn’t know her, even though she was supposed to be able to help me with my fears and my worries and my questions, still – I wanted to make a good impression.

I came because I can’t sleep well,” I said. “And I’ve kind of lost interest in things. I’ve been working on an historical novel for three years now, and it’s not progressing. I also have some…I suppose they’re called anxieties. About the future. Also about the past.”

I stopped there. I didn’t want to sound too neurotic. “Have you gone through any major life changes recently?” she asked, noting down my words. She stopped writing and looked at me with gentle eyes. I then noticed that she was perhaps somewhat older than I initially thought; at least her eyes seemed old.

So then I had to spill it all out. I told her how Don decided one day he’d had enough and how I was initially relieved he left because by then I’d had enough too. We’d been at each other’s throats for years and now that the kids were a little older there was no need to pretend any longer. But when he almost immediately moved in with some woman called Claudette, that’s when the anxieties started. What if I had made the wrong choice? Was it too late to change it now? Besides, what kind of name is that, anyway, Claudette? Sounded like some granny from a bad fifties movie.

But Claudette was no granny. I saw her when they came to pick up the kids together one Saturday morning about two months ago, shamelessly sitting in the passenger seat of our car, or what used to be our car, not even bothering to come out and introduce herself. She wore a little black halter-top despite the fact it was a cold day, exposing skinny shoulders and a big red pendant of some kind draped around her neck like a hangman’s noose.

Maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part, but I was more than pleased when Tom and Jen came back and said they didn’t like her at all. “She’s trying to be funny,” said Jen. “But she isn’t.”

Yeah, she tried to bribe us with ice cream as if we were little kids,” said Tom. He was now a tall, slim teenager, his voice breaking as he spoke. But none of that mattered now, for I was lying on the therapist’s couch as she started counting backwards in a slow, monotone voice, instructing me to relax, breathe deeply, let go of all my worries and put them in a small imaginary box which – she assured me – I’d be able to pick up mentally when we finished the session. It felt nice knowing that I could put away all my worries for a little while, but then get them back if I wanted to.

I was quite attached to my worries and anxieties by then, they even felt comfortable and familiar. I could not help but wonder if I was truly and honestly ready to get rid of them.


About the Author

Daniela I. Norris 2

Daniela I. Norris is a former diplomat, turned political writer, and with age and wisdom – inspirational author and speaker. Her award-winning stories, articles and essays have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
Published books include –
– Crossing Qalandiya – Exchanges Across the Israeli Palestinian Divide (Reprtage Press, 2010)
– On Dragonfly Wings – a skeptic’s journey to mediumship (Axis Mundi Books, 2014)
– Collecting Feathers: tales from The Other Side (Soul Rocks Books, 2014)

Recognitions, part of a trilogy, is her first novel.

Daniela lives with her family near Geneva, Switzerland, and is co-director of the Geneva Writers’ Conference and part of the International Grief Council panel (www.internationalgriefcouncil.org).

For More Information



Daniela. Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you.
I would define myself as someone who is always on some kind of quest. When I grew up, in a small town in Israel and then in Toronto, Canada, I didn’t know many people who had the same interests as I did – in travel – real or imaginary. I started my travels by reading books, and they took me to wonderful and exotic places. Then, after a three-year-stint as an officer in the military, I started traveling the world. I realized you don’t actually need a lot of money to travel – there are many ways to get around if you are willing to be a bit adventurous and to learn about new cultures.

As a student, I managed to get a job as a flight-attendant for an international airline, despite the fact I was afraid of flying. This allowed me to travel, as well as to pay my student loans and expenses. Then, I got a different job – for the Foreign Service – and worked in Jerusalem, Nairobi, Luanda, Lima, Paris and Geneva. I kind of got ‘stuck’ in the last place due to having had 3 boys in eight years, but I just know that as soon as we can, we will be on the move again. Of course, it is much easier to travel without children, as delightful and inspiring as they all are. But I do want my boys to learn about the joy of exploring different cultures and new places, I think we grow a lot through travel.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to ‘hang out’ with the Dalai Lama for a day, but it isn’t due to his ‘famousness’. I would love to experience close-up how someone like him sees life, I am sure that one day with the Dalai Lama would be an unforgettable experience.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
It’s actually quite an interesting story – as it is based on some real past-life-regressions I’ve experienced myself. I took these regressions and fictionalized them, and they intertwined as if there were always meant to be told together. I added a lot of research as the experience of a past-life-regression is not always very detailed, but it was a really fun project to work on and I now enjoy researching and working on the next novel in this trilogy.

What is your writing process?
I agree that inspiration does exist, but if it doesn’t find you writing, it might go and knock on someone else’s door. Generally, I am of the opinion that a written page can be edited, a blank page can’t so I do try to write every day, if not three hours than at least one.

Because I have young kids, I can write almost anywhere: in the car, at a noisy café, in my bedroom with the door closed. I do have a small study but I hardly ever work there these days, somehow it is easier for me to have the flexibility of location and time. In short: I write wherever and whenever I can!

Tell us about your main character:
Amelia Rothman is an editor in New York, a city I absolutely love although I am not really a city-person. In parallel, there is Adele’s story. She is a young woman in 18th century France. She lives by the foothills of the Jura, not far from Geneva, which is the area where I live today. And, there is a 16th century African shaman, trying to save his people from a fate of slavery when the Portuguese come looking for able-bodied young men to take with them.

These are all main characters, it is difficult to speak about just one – but they are all connected. How? You’ll have to read Recognitions to find out.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Matt Damon for the male role, Angelina Jolie for the female role. Because I think they’re both not only great actors, but also great people.

What are you working on next?
Recognitions is the first novel in a trilogy and I am now working on the second book in this same series titled Premonitions.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
I think that talks about topics related to your book are a great way to let people know what you are passionate about. This can be at bookstores, libraries or other venues. Exchanging with people who come because they are interested in similar topics to you is the best way to get the word out about what you are doing.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I loved David Michell’s The Bone Clocks if we’re talking fiction, and Memories of Heaven by Wayne Dyer and Dee Garnes if it’s non-fiction we’re looking at.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I bake fantastic chocolate cakes and am really good at eating them.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I’d like to be able to turn fear into love – with one swing of my magic wand!

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. I’d love to travel to more places I’ve never been to
  2. Stay in touch with my good friends all over the world
  3. Do yoga every day, at least once
  4. Have a great cup of coffee every morning
  5. And go to sleep with love in my heart every night


Any final thoughts?

I am hoping that Recognitions will appeal to the general readers, people who like reading novels with a bit of mystery, a bit of history, a bit of emotion – and are not afraid to explore spiritual themes too. Thank you for having me!

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